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Different cowries.jpg
A group of shells of species of cowries, family Cypraeidae, anterior ends towards the top of the image.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Caenogastropoda
Order: Littorinimorpha
Golikov & Starobogatov, 1975

See text

Littorinimorpha is a large order of snails, [1] gastropods, consisting primarily of sea snails (marine species), but also including some freshwater snails (aquatic species) and land snails (terrestrial species). [2]

Previously, the Linnaean taxonomy used in the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Ponder & Lindberg (1997) ranked like this: subclass Orthogastropoda, superorder Caenogastropoda, order Sorbeoconcha, suborder Hypsogastropoda, infraorder Littorinimorpha.

The order Littorinimorpha contains many gastropoda families that were formerly placed in the order Mesogastropoda, as introduced by J. Thiele in his work from 1921. [3] Evidence for this group being monophyletic is scanty. In 2003, E. E. Strong [4] suggested using only Neogastropoda as a clade within the clade Hypsogastropoda, and to include the unresolved superfamilies of the Hypsogastropoda within the Littorinimorpha. [5]

Superfamilies and families

The superfamilies grouped in this clade include a few families that are well-known based on their shells:

(Extinct taxa indicated by a dagger, †.)

Families brought into synonymy

Related Research Articles

Orthogastropoda was a major taxonomic grouping of snails and slugs, an extremely large subclass within the huge class Gastropoda according to the older taxonomy of the Gastropoda.

Pulmonata Informal group of gastropods

Pulmonata, or "pulmonates", is an informal group of snails and slugs characterized by the ability to breathe air, by virtue of having a pallial lung instead of a gill, or gills. The group includes many land and freshwater families, and several marine families.

Rissooidea Superfamily of gastropods

Rissooidea, originally named Rissoacea by Gray, 1847, is a taxonomic superfamily of small and minute marine snails, belonging to the clade Littorinimorpha.

Cypraeidae Family of gastropods

Cypraeidae, common name the cowries, is a taxonomic family of small to large sea snails. These are marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Cypraeoidea, the cowries and cowry allies.

Buccinoidea Superfamily of molluscs

Buccinoidea is a taxonomic superfamily of very small to large predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks.

Hydrobiidae Family of snails

Hydrobiidae, commonly known as mud snails, is a large cosmopolitan family of very small freshwater and brackish water snails with an operculum; they are in the order Littorinimorpha.


Turbinidae, the turban snails, are a family of small to large marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Trochoidea.

Buccinidae Family of large sea snails

The Buccinidae are a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.


The Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells, are a taxonomic family of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha. The shells of species in the family Vermetidae are extremely irregular, and do not resemble the average snail shell, hence the common name "worm shells" or "worm snails".

Rissoidae Family of gastropods

Rissoidae is a large family of very small and minute sea snails with an operculum, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Rissooidea and the order Littorinimorpha.


Cerithiidae, common name the cerithiids or ceriths, is a large family of medium-sized marine gastropods in the clade Sorbeoconcha.


Tornidae is a family of very small and minute sea snails with an operculum, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Littorinimorpha. This family used to be known as the Vitrinellidae. Iredale has shown that the family Adeorbidae Monterosato, 1884 should be called Tornidae


The Neotaenioglossa is a taxonomic name for a large group of mostly sea snails. The name was originally created by Haller in 1882. Ponder and Warén (1988), and Marquet (1997), assigned this name to the superorder Caenogastropoda. ITIS considers the order Neotaenioglossa to be a synonym of Cerithioidea Férussac, 1819 .

Fasciolariidae Family of gastropods

The Fasciolariidae, common name the "tulip snails and spindle snails", are a family of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Buccinoidea.

Lithoglyphidae Family of gastropods

Lithoglyphidae is a family of small freshwater snails with gills and an operculum, aquatic gastropod mollusks.

The taxonomy of the Gastropoda, as revised by Winston Ponder and David R. Lindberg in 1997, is an older taxonomy of the class Gastropoda, the class of molluscs consisting of all snails and slugs. The full name of the work in which this taxonomy was published is Towards a phylogeny of gastropod molluscs: an analysis using morphological characters.


Apogastropoda was previously used as a major taxonomic grouping of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs. This infraclass mostly consisted of marine limpets and operculate snails. At least 20,000 species were considered to exist within the two clades that were included, Heterobranchia and Caenogastropoda.

Littorinoidea Superfamily of gastropods

Littorinoidea are a superfamily of both sea snails and land snails which have a gill and an operculum, terrestrial and marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Littorinimorpha.


Velutinidae is a family of small sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha.

Truncatelloidea is a superfamily of snails, gastropod mollusks in the clade Caenogastropoda.


  1. WoRMS
  2. Bouchet P. & Rocroi J.-P. (Ed.); Frýda J., Hausdorf B., Ponder W., Valdes A. & Warén A. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology, 47(1-2). ConchBooks: Hackenheim, Germany. ISBN   3-925919-72-4. ISSN   0076-2997. 397 pp.
  3. Thiele, J., 1929-1935. Handbuch der Systematischen Weichtierkunde. 2 vols. 1154 p., 584 figs
  4. Strong, E.E. (2003). "Refining molluscan characters : morphology, character coding and a phylogeny of the Caenogastropoda". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 137 (4): 447–554. doi: 10.1046/j.1096-3642.2003.00058.x .
  5. Gofas, S. (2010). Littorinimorpha. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2010-06-06